If you’re running a business or thinking about it, you’ve probably been given a shopping list of things to do in order to make your venture a success. You know, great marketing plan, hungry sales team, genius product or service, the list goes on.
Our perception of what it takes to build a successful business has been based on the strength of a great plan and the mechanical framework that surrounds it. However, still to this day 9/10 entrepreneurs throw in the towel, most of who never return to the world of business.
I have spent over 20 years studying entrepreneurial success. Collecting insight from my own experience, those who I have coached and consulted for, owners of mulit-million and billion $ businesses and those who never made it out of first gear.
I came to the conclusion that those who were able to sustain success and not just shoot to success and implode, knowingly or unknowingly create an enabling environment for their success by doing the following:
- Take care of the physical and nutritional health
- Take care of the mental health and well-being
- Nurture relationships both personally and professionally
- They do what they love, it’s not about the money for them
This philosophy I have dubbed Ultrapreneurship. Taken from the latin word ‘Ultra’ which means to ‘beyond’. I conclude that we go beyond the idea that entrepreneurial success is measured by how much money we make but actually success is maintaining that enabling environments from which success grows and money is a result not a construct.
They have worked out that a healthy mind and healthy mind make a healthy business. Ultrapreneurship is a concept that everyone who comes across it agrees with but struggles to integrate into their busy lives.
So what practical things can you start to do in order to realise entrepreneur nirvana, seriously up your game and sustain success sans burn out.
- Work less, do more – We have been trained to believe that working 25 hours is the benchmark for performance. However real performance is delivering the same output with less input. Tim Ferris of the acclaimed 4 Hour Work Week calls this ‘performance over presence’. The concepts discussed in his book are fast becoming popular in the entrepreneur community tired of being tired.
- Scheduled sanity – If you check out your calendar for the week ahead (yeah do it now), I’m sure for many of you won’t have invited yourself to a meeting with mediation, gym, a long walk, time with a spouse, kids or just time to think. I now structure my calendar to allow for what I call ‘active downtime’. It’s time I use to do something for pure enjoyment purposes. Catching up on my YouTube feed is a favourite of mine, or aimlessly trawling through my Facebook timeline. Many of us would feel guilty for ‘not working’ but in effect the opposite is happening. Being someone who’s somewhat of a gym rat, I understand the concept that your muscles need to rest in order to grow. Your mind is no different, as well as clearing you mind through mindfulness, focusing on something which we find ‘enjoyable’ can be equally revitalising. Have you ever been in shower, walking in the park or just doing something random and the answer to a problem you’ve been mulling over pops into your head? Or you get a flash of inspiration from ‘nowhere’? Well that’s the result of your mind receiving the sanity it needs to work things out without you even consciously knowing it.
- Be easy, enjoy the ride – Entrepreneurs can be their biggest critics; to a fault. I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are doing incredibly well create rod for their own backs. I’m not a psychologist but for many, on investigation suffer from issues of self worth stemming from something which has happening in childhood or even adult life. This causes them to never feel ‘good enough’. To change that habit however can take practice. The internal dialogue which takes place when things don’t work out can be a great place to start. Success factors are connected thankfully and if you’re doing what you love then rejection may impact but not for long. Your desire to execute on your idea will be stronger than any setback.
- You are what you eat – There’s just no getting away from it. The food we eat have both a gross and subtle effect on how we function. Entrepreneurs require function over aesthetic and so need to focus on nutrition over calories as an example. Simple rules of thumb include more water, more green foods, less red meat, alcohol, salt and sugar. Manage those and you’ll be doing well than the majority of the population.
- Spread the love – You may be doing a great job of managing your well-being and performance, but what about those you rely on to grow your business. If someone is always ill, struggles with stress or has a drama filled personal life, you can be sure that this will negatively impact your business at some point. No one can shield an ongoing issue from work for extended periods, we are of course human.
We all want to up our game, but chances are don’t prioritise the most important part of the business – ourselves. Most overnight successes have been 5-10 years in the making. This means they probably had to sustain success for long periods of time before ‘made it’.
The question is, are you able to sustain your current performance strategy? Are you mentally strong enough? Are you an Ultrapreneur?